You don”t need a big knife for backpacking. I’ve been using the same Victorinox Swiss Army Classic pocket knife for going on 8 years now and I’ve never found the need to replace it with something different or bigger. If you are trying to shave weight from your pack, this little gem only weighs 0.7 oz. and comes with a very serviceable pair of scissors, nail file, a blade. tweezers and a toothpick. Unless you plan on skinning a deer or filleting a fish, this pocket knife is all you need.
I clip mine to the outside of my backpack with a little mini-biner, along with a little REI Therm-o-Compass, whenever I go hiking which makes it easy to switch between backpacks. Being so small, it is easy to lose or misplace, so I’ve made it a ritual to return it to its biner immediately after use, and still haven’t lost it yet!
I mainly use the scissors for opening food packages, cutting Leukotape and guyline (it’s very sharp) or the emery board/screwdriver if I need to file down one of my toenails. I can’t even remember when I last used the knife blade – funny that the knife part of the knife is so rarely used but is still useful when needed. Same with the tweezers and toothpick.
This classic Swiss Army Knife is probably the best $10 I ever spent for ultralight backpacking!
Disclosure: The author owns this product and purchased it using their own funds quite a long time ago.
Originally written 2008. Updated 2014.
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